Cuscaden Reserve gets ABSD deadline extension, relaunch prices start at S$2,900 psf

Mar 09, 2024

MARKETING agents for luxury leasehold condo Cuscaden Reserve in District 10 have been dangling discounted offers starting from S$2,900 per square foot (psf), after an initial sales deadline to clear all unsold units in 2023 was extended to 2024.

This is about 20 per cent lower than the average price of about S$3,600 psf that 12 units have sold for since the Orchard area condo was launched in September 2019.

The 192-unit project, which obtained its temporary occupation permit in August 2023, has 180 unsold units.

Cuscaden Reserve was among a number of private residential projects nearing a critical additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) deadline to sell all their units in 2023 or be hit with hefty stamp duty penalties for missing the deadline.

A marketing agent for Cuscaden Reserve, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times (ST) that the project has secured an ABSD deadline extension to 2024.

Its developers had acquired the Cuscaden Road site in May 2018, before the July 2018 round of cooling measures.

Hence, their ABSD penalty for not selling all the units within the mandated sales period is likely to be 15 per cent of the land acquisition cost, or about S$61.5 million, according to JLL.

It is unclear if the ABSD penalty has been deferred.

When asked about the ABSD deadline extension, SC Global Developments – which co-developed the condo with Hong Kong-listed New World Development and Far East Consortium – declined to comment.

ST has contacted the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Urban Redevelopment Authority for comment.

“Selling all units within a specified timeframe is now more challenging for prime district projects, due to the hike in ABSD to 60 per cent for foreign buyers,” said JLL head of residential research for Singapore Chia Siew Chuin.

“An extension to the (ABSD) deadline will give the developer some respite and allow it to focus on the project’s relaunch.”

Most of the remaining 180 unsold units are one- and two-bedders, said Dominic Lee, head of luxury at PropNex, which is marketing the condo.

Booking of units starts on Mar 16. Given the exclusivity of the project, the units may be sold by private placement, Lee said.

This means interested buyers can indicate the unit they want during sales booking. If there is no other party contesting the same unit after an allotted time, then the option for the unit will be issued to the interested buyer. If there is more than one party keen on the same unit, then balloting will be conducted.

PropNex’s Lee said: “We are not privy to the full price list currently, as well as at the previous launch. As such, we are unable to comment on whether prices were cut by 20 per cent.”

ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim, whose agency is also marketing Cuscaden Reserve, said: “We will only know the actual selling price on Mar 16.”

With demand for prime district properties already dampened by the punitive 60 per cent ABSD on foreign buyers, the threat from a future project on an adjacent Government Land Sales plot in Orchard Boulevard is likely pushing Cuscaden Reserve to dispose of its unsold units before the new supply comes on stream, Ms Chia said.

In February 2024, a residential-cum-commercial site in Orchard Boulevard was awarded to UOL Group and Singapore Land Group, which jointly submitted the top bid of S$428.3 million or S$1,617 psf per plot ratio (ppr).

The top bid for the Orchard Boulevard site, which can yield 280 units and about 500 sq m of commercial space, was 32 per cent below the record price of S$2,377 psf ppr set in May 2018 for the site on which Cuscaden Reserve now sits.

Cuscaden Reserve is part of SC Global’s Petit Collectibles, which offers smaller units to those who “just don’t want to fuss over maintaining a house”, SC Global founder Simon Cheong told ST in 2019 when private viewings of the condo began.

The project’s design by local firm SCDA Architects is inspired by the German Bauhaus art movement of the early 20th century, which advocates a “less is more” philosophy.

DBS analysts Tabitha Foo and Derek Tan said in a note on Mar 6: “With the (prime district) seeing subdued foreigner participation, we believe that the developer is lowering prices to appeal to local buyers, who are more price-sensitive and also subject to higher ABSD rates on second or subsequent properties.

“Cuscaden Reserve may have around a year to sell before the estimated launch of the Orchard Boulevard project,” they said.